Your Partner’s Choices Reveal Inner Thoughts

"My ex-wife can best be described as looking like Barbie with the hair of Einstein, the personality of Rodney Dangerfield, the attitude of Napoleon, the morals of Hitler, and on a good day, as kind as the wicked witch of the west.”

I don't imagine the woman described above would describe herself in quite the same terms. This is because people see different qualities in each other than they see in themselves. Emotions motivate descriptions, both good and bad, and are given out based on the feelings one person has for another.

Many people can be described as looking like someone famous. This can be flattering at times but it really doesn't say much about the person being describe other than what his physical attributes are. However, if asked which famous person's personality most reminds you of someone, a much more powerful image is described. Take for instance the difference between, "He looks just like Bruce Lee" and "He has the personality of Cher." When imagining the characteristics of someone famous, it is easy to sum up their characteristics quickly and succinctly. When describing your partner's characteristics, it isn't always as easy, especially when the description isn't favorable.

Put it to the Test

The exercise in this section is about getting to know how you and your partner really view each other qualities. The goal of this test is to examine the discrepancy between your views and your partner’s. To directly ask your mate to describe your good and bad points is as threatening as it would be for you to be as honest about your opinions. If done directly, each person tends to downplay accurate descriptions. This exercise acts as a buffer to true feelings.

You can ask 10 people to describe each person below and you will get 10 different characterizations. This test is projective in nature, in that you and your partner will see in others what is actually in your thoughts. For example, let's say you choose Einstein to describe your partner because you think he is a genius. Another person may also say Einstein, but because she views her partner as a boring recluse. The reality of the famous person's life is irrelevant.


When using this test on your partner, you will need to ask him one or more of the questions below. The more questions you ask, the more information you will be able to learn about your relationship.

  • Which characters embraces your partner description? Why?
  • Which character best describes yourself? Why?
  • Choose a character that you would like your partner to be more like? Why?
  • Which character would you like to be more like? Why?
  • Pick a character that describes your partner's most unattractive feature? Why?
  • Which character best describes your most unattractive feature? Why?
  • Select a character who describes your partner at his ugliest? Why?
  • Which character describes you at your ugliest? Why?
  • Choose a character to describes your partner at his best? Why?
  • Which character sums you up at your best? Why?
  • Which character needs to be on this list to better describe you or your partner? Why?

© 2007

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Nancy Fagan is the best-selling author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Romance' and 'Desirable Men: How to Find Them' has appeared on several hundred radio and television shows including Ricki Lake, Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The Berman & Berman Show, FOX News. She has been featured in most major newspaper in the United States and worldwide as well as regularly mentioned in the nation's top magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal ('Can this Marriage be Saved?'), Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Men's Health, Bride's, Seventeen, Women's Day, Family Circle, Women's Own, BBW, Complete Women and dozens of others. To read more, visit This column is reprinted with permission from Send questions to E-Mail

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